Par­ti­cle Physics Used to Find Hid­den Cham­ber

In 2016, muon de­tec­tors re­vealed two hid­den cav­i­ties in Egypt’s big­gest and most enig­matic pyra­mid. The next step is the ex­plo­ration of the in­te­rior of the huge struc­ture.

Science Illustrated - - HISTORY -

In late 2016, sci­en­tists armed with high-tech par­ti­cle de­tec­tors dis­cov­ered two un­known cham­bers on the north and north eastern sides of the 146-m-high Great Pyra­mid of Giza. The ex­plo­ration of the two cham­bers has only just be­gun, but pro­vi­sional data in­di­cates that one cham­ber winds into a cor­ri­dor, which leads fur­ther into the in­te­rior of the pyra­mid.

The dis­cov­ery was made by means of muon to­mog­ra­phy. Muons are el­e­men­tary par­ti­cles, which are pro­duced, as cos­mic ra­di­a­tion from space en­ters Earth’s at­mos­phere. The par­ti­cles pass through soft ma­te­ri­als such as skin and tis­sue, whereas hard ob­jects such as rocks ab­sorb them to some ex­tent. Dur­ing the ex­per­i­ment, sci­en­tists man­aged to spot high con­cen­tra­tions of muons in spe­cific places un­der and be­side the pyra­mid – in­di­cat­ing that the par­ti­cles had es­caped the rocks rel­a­tively eas­ily due to cav­i­ties.

The re­sults will be in­cluded in a 3D re­con­struc­tion to­gether with laser scans and in­frared stud­ies to help sci­en­tists ex­plore the in­te­rior of the Great Pyra­mid of Giza. PO­TEN­TIAL: Dis­cov­ery of new cham­bers and cor­ri­dors. CHAL­LENGE: The mount­ing of de­tec­tors could harm the pyra­mid.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.